Our boys are great athletes, and Brian is a great coach. His words of advice sometimes transcend the playing field.
I recall one such instance when Bobby was in Little League. During spring practice Bobby was playing catch with a boy he didn’t know very well, and Bob was holding back. After practice, Brian asked Bobby why he wasn’t throwing as he usually did.
Bobby told Brian he wasn’t sure the other boy could catch the ball. Brian responded, “Bob, your responsibility is to throw with authority. His responsibility is to catch it.”
If only Christians could grasp that truth as it applies to living and sharing the Gospel. Sometimes it seems like we’re so afraid others won’t, or can’t, catch the truth that we water it down, pretty it up, or lob it in so gently that it fails to reach the mark. No one benefits if the truth is not clearly given so that it might be received.
So often Christians (myself included) present the Gospel through our words, entertainment, books, Bible studies, and even our lives as if we are ashamed of it. We forget Paul’s words in Romans:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” – Romans 1:16-17 NIV
What is the Gospel? It is the power of God that brings salvation! It is the eternal life, the physical death, the resurrection, and the exaltation of Jesus. The Gospel is Jesus.
Why do we need the Gospel? Because we are sinners, born with a sin nature. By our very nature, we deserve God’s just wrath.
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desire and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” – Ephesians 2:3 NIV
We are so afraid that we might offend “seekers” by speaking about sin and the need for salvation that we speak of other things: miracles, healing, freedom, love, peace, joy. But how wise is that? The truth is that no one seeks God apart from God’s drawing that person to Him. If anyone seeks at all, he/she is seeking the whole truth.
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away… There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18 NIV
“No one can come to me [Jesus] unless the Father who sent me draws them… Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.” John 6:44-45 NIV
If someone is seeking the Way, the Truth and the Life why wouldn’t we give Jesus in all His beauty? We don’t need to pretty up the Gospel; it is glorious, cleansing, and freeing as it stands.
In that Little League practice, Bobby was afraid the other player might drop the ball, but if the ball wasn’t catchable, whose error would it be? The game of life is short. People are dying. Jesus is the only way to eternal life. Will you pitch the Gospel with authority?